The Newbury Soup Kitchen is a voluntary organisation providing help and support to the Newbury homeless community and those less fortunate than others. Having stumbled across their organisation a couple of times on Social Media, and because of the current inclement weather, I thought I’d do my best to raise some awareness.
The Newbury Soup Kitchen at the Salvation Army hall is open from 6.00pm to 8.00pm every Thursday. You can find them at 8 Northcroft Lane, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1BU.
The primary operation is a friendly drop-in centre for vulnerable adults. All are greeted with hot food and drinks every Thursday evening. A warm welcome awaits people who wish to socialise, find support, enjoy a hot meal and interact with like-minded people.
The hot food and drinks are provided free of charge. On the menu are soup, beans on toast, sandwiches and cakes. All foodstuff is kindly donated by local businesses and the Newbury community as a whole.
Equipment and items visitors continually require include:
- Tents, ground sheets and sleeping bags
- Thermos flasks are always a welcome addition to our stock
- Torches or lanterns (wind up if possible, but anything is useful)
- Warm winter hats and gloves, thermal clothes and coats
- Waterproof hiking boots and socks
- We always need disposable cutlery and crockery. We like to use biodegradable dinner ware where possible
Food and drink in constant demand:
- Pot Noodles are a popular choice for visitors, particularly Chicken and Mushroom and Beef and Tomato flavours.
- Coffee and juice (squash) are much needed, used and appreciated supplies.
Contact The Newbury Soup Kitchen to arrange a drop off. You’re always welcome to pop down to the Soup Kitchen when it’s open on Thursday evening with a donation you would like to make. The Newbury Soup Kitchen are continually thankful for the magnanimous support from the local community.
The Soup Kitchen relies heavily on their wonderful volunteers, dedicated and caring people from all walks of life. Assistance is always welcome on Thursday evenings to collect, prepare and serve food. Most volunteers assist on a rota basis if they cannot commit every week. Get in touch if you feel you could help, in whatever capacity.
AN ENCOUNTER WITH A HOMELESS MAN…
Way back in my teenage year of 1997, two friends and I decided to camp outside Tower Records overnight. Peter Andre, was coming to London to sign copies of his new album ‘Time’ and we wanted to be first in the line to see him.
However, its not that memory that I remember so vividly. On the evening of 1st Dec 1997 (I recall as it was mums birthday the next day), we took shelter from the snow under the entrance to Tower Records. To say it was ice-cold, would be an understatement.
That night, because of the weather, Piccadilly Circus was weirdly empty and quiet. We was approached by a homeless man who was carrying four cups of tea. He handed one to each of us, keeping the fourth for himself and asked if he could share ‘our’ shelter beneath the entrance.
For hours we talked to this man. His name was John, a husband and father of two teenage sons who he hadn’t seen for years. John had stumbled on hard times when he and his wife split and he was forced to leave the family home. A successful and well-paid London Office Worker, who went on to loose his job following his marital breakdown. He lost touch with his family and had been homeless for quite some years. He had no possessions with him but a sleeping bag and some photos of his children.
The next morning, we bought John some hot food and drink from the Burger King opposite, it was the least we could do. I will never forget John, he was a very kind man and I often wonder what happened to him.
My hope in sharing this story is that it will inspire others to spread some love.
When I see a homeless person, I can’t help but imagine their story. Whilst I may not always be able to offer some change, that doesn’t stop me at least acknowledging their presence. We all need help in one way or another. Sometimes all someone needs is a friend.
Perhaps you could dig out any spare blankets, hats, gloves, sleeping bags that you never use? Maybe you’ve got some spare time on your hands and can volunteer your help? Some surplus food in the cupboards? Or maybe, you could help raise some awareness for your local homeless charities too?
Because every little helps, right?
I’m going to pop down to The Newbury Soup Kitchen next Thursday to see if I can lend a hand. Be great if you could join me.